Articles

The Haughtiest Suburb of Them All

Ottawa’s Rockcliffe abounds in admirals, senators, judges and millionaires in a community unsullied by stores, garages, jails or even cemeteries. To most of its well-heeled inhabitants the possibility of living anywhere else is unthinkable, and that goes for their poodles, toe

BILL STEPHENSON September 15 1954
Articles

The Haughtiest Suburb of Them All

Ottawa’s Rockcliffe abounds in admirals, senators, judges and millionaires in a community unsullied by stores, garages, jails or even cemeteries. To most of its well-heeled inhabitants the possibility of living anywhere else is unthinkable, and that goes for their poodles, toe

BILL STEPHENSON September 15 1954

The Haughtiest Suburb of Them All

Ottawa’s Rockcliffe abounds in admirals, senators, judges and millionaires in a community unsullied by stores, garages, jails or even cemeteries. To most of its well-heeled inhabitants the possibility of living anywhere else is unthinkable, and that goes for their poodles, toe

IN THE heart of Canada’s capital stand two heights of land from which one may—if so inclined—look down on one’s fellow humans. Both heights are oases of green in the grey desert of the city. Both luxuriate in stately oaks, elms and beeches which were mature at Confederation. Both command a superb view of the ancient Gatineau Hills. Both, to put it commercially, are a real-estate man’s dream.

From Ottawa’s civic viewpoint there is only one drawback to these twin pinnacles: neither belongs to Ottawa. The first, Parliament Hill, belongs to the federal government. The other is part of the independent village of Rockcliffe Park, often called the most exclusive community in Canada.

Among the 1,800 souls who inhabit Rockcliffe’s 368 acres are, not surprisingly, a good proportion of Canada’s highest-placed parliamentarians, judges, senators, scientists, military brass and a battery of well-heeled businessmen. A bend in the rustic roads which amble through the village may bring C. D. Howe face to face with his parliamentary foe, George Drew. At a soiree in any of the gracious Rockclifte homes the ambassadors of Pakistan and India may sip protocol cocktails tête-à-tête. The Home and School club may adjourn after its meeting to Senator Cairine Wilson’s garden, where her first two grandchildren, sculptured in stone by Felix Weiss, gaze eternally at their nude reflections in the lily pond.

Rockcliffe has a distinction it values above all others: ii was spurned by Ottawa’s headline-making spinster mayor, Charlotte Whitton. It happened during the summer of 1953 when Ottawa was p'anning its 1954 centenary celebrations. Looking at the map of Ottawa, and seeing Rockcliffe sitting

there in splendid independence, someone asked Mayor Whitton if this wouldn’t be the psychological time to annex the village and put the civic house in order. The mayor was not amused. In characteristic Whittonese she cried, “I would sooner marry a millionaire with ulcers than annex Rockcliffe!”

By BILL STEPHENSON

A cheer went up from Rockcliffe and all that kept it from becoming a roar was the suspicion the mayor might change her mind. If the village were engulfed, however, few people foresee any great change, for Rockcliffe is not merely a village full of VIPs; it is a different way of life—literally.

Photos by Paul Rockett

For one thing, though those 1,800 Rockcliffites eat, drink, smoke, marry, go to church, occasionally divorce, walk, drive, watch TV, wear clothes and sometimes die, just like other Canadians, not a single one of these human failings is catered to in the village itself. Within its borders there is no business of any kind, no drugstore, smoke shop, garage, restaurant or theatre. There is no church, no cemetery and no jail. There is no apartment building in Rockcliffe, and there is only one two-family dwelling which was there before the village was incorporated in 1926. There are 11 miles of road winding through and about several thousand beautiful old trees, but there is less than half a mile of sidewalk.

There are two private schools-—Ashbury for boys and Elmwood for girls—both eslabl shed before 1926. And there is a public school. A Rockcliffe mother who wanted to start a nursery school was politely refused a permit and had to set up the school in the adjacent Ottawa suburb of New Edinburgh.

The public school itself barely made the grade. At the meeting called in 1922 to discuss the project, many and heated were the arguments against it. One resident felt he was speaking for all when his turn came. “Surely,” he said, “we don’t want people in Rockcliffe who would even send their children to a public school!”

Today, with 280 pupils, the public school is a model for such institutions and, ironically, one of the main reasons why young people who can afford it now move to Rockcliffe. Ashbury, with 212 boys last term, and Elmwood, with 126 girls, out;otal the public school. But where the public

school’s roster is entirely made up of Rockcliffe children, only a small percentage of the privateschool children come from the village itself.

Rockcliffe has other little differences not immediately apparent. Geographically situated in the county of Carleton, the village numbers among its residents the Hon. George Drew, MP for Carleton County. But Rockcliffe is represented in parliament not by Conservative home-towner Drew but by Liberal out-of-towner Jean Richard, MP for East Ottawa, in which the village lies politically.

This anomalous situation resulted from a gerrymander carried out during Sir Robert Borden’s regime when it looked as if the local Conservative candidate, Sir George Perley, might not poll sufficient support to carry Russell County. To ensure his election voters from the true-blue Tory county of Carleton were switched to Russell, and

Perley won. Subsequent movements of population have since forced the division of Russell into two constituencies, one being East Ottawa. To this day, however, the electoral situation is Greek to most ’Cliffe-dwellers.

As if the federal election weren’t sufficiently confused, Rockcliffe finds itself for provincial voting purposes still in the county of Russell. The late MPP, Daniel Nault, just as MP Jean Richard, did not live in Rockcliffe.

Lots of politicians do live there, however■ — cabinet ministers C. D. Howe, Stuart Garson and John Pickersgill, for example. There are a host of non-politicians, among them Generals H. D. G. Crerar, A. G. L. McNaughton, G. G. Simonds, E. L. M. Burns, Howard Kennedy, H. F. G. Letson, W. H. S. Macklin and D. M. Ormond; Air Marshals C. R. Slemon

Continued on page 69

The Haughtiest Suburb of Them All

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 29

and G. O. Johnson; Admirals H. F. Pullen, H. G. De Wolf, and H. T. W. Grant; Supreme Court Justices R. L. Kellock and C. H. Locke; Exchequer Court Justices J. D. Kearney and J. T. Thorson; Hon. Wishart Robertson, Speaker of the Senate; Dr. O. M. Solandt, head of the Defense Research Board; Dean C. J. Mackenzie, retired head of the National Research Council and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.; Dr. E. W. Steacie, present head of the National Research Council; Graham Towers, Governor of the Bank of Canada; Dr. A. W. Trueman, head of the National Film Board; A. Davidson Dunton, head of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

In addition to what might be called the local notables, Rockcliffe entertains the representatives of eight foreign countries-—the U. S., Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Pakistan, India, Norway and Israel. At least twenty other diplomatic people rent homes in Rockcliffe, but these eight actually own their homes.

The Rockcliffe Village Council, which is supreme on municipal affairs, consists of a reeve—Dwight P. Cruikshank, head of an Ottawa steel company—and four councilors: Group

Captain (ret.) E. R. Owen, F. L. Jeckell, a Dominion Brewers executive; D. I. Cameron, an investment dealer; and L. F. Burrows, secretary of the Canadian Horticultural Council. On important matters, the village council must communicate with its diplomatic residents via the Department of External Affairs.

Rockcliffe stands out from the surrounding city like a rose among a patch of thorns. Where Ottawa is crowded, Rockcliffe is spacious. Where Ottawa children often have to dodge cars to play ball on the hot streets, Rockcliffe children seem to frolic in a village set aside as a safe playground. Privacy, an almost forgotten luxury in Ottawa, is a Rockcliffe stand-by, doubly assured by the wide lawns and shrubs and by the thousands of great old trees which make the village’s busiest thoroughfares seem like winding country lanes.

Even the privacy of bird and animal life is respected, since Rockcliffe is a crown game preserve. Dogs breathe a kindlier air, for a special bylaw permits them to run without leashes within the village.

Rockcliffe householders, for their part, find their own leashes a little looser, and paradoxically—for such an opulent community—their taxes a little lower than in other towns. There is, for example, the matter of house identification. Some residents don’t bother to number their homes at all, but rather give them names after the English fashion. Such homes as Berkenfels (Alfred C. Bethune), Fernbank (Gen. McNaughton), Casa Loma (H. S. Southam), Marchmont (Walter E. Soper) and Stornaway (George Drew) are as well known to taxi drivers, postmen and delivery boys as the Chateau Laurier.

For the not-quite-so-famous there is a similar leeway. One newcomer, perplexed to find his home between two places numbered 326 and 1145, called the village clerk, John Ramsay, to ask what his own number might be.

“What number would you like?” was the answer.

For a considerable distance the main boundary between Rockcliffe and Ottawa is the Ottawa Electric Railway streetcar tracks. This is a boon and a

bane. Its beneficial qualities stem from the fact that if it weren’t for the trams, few servants would even consider working in Rockcliffe. As it is, the family car—often with son or daughter at the wheel—can be seen waiting at the end of the car line for cook to return from her night out.

The bane was best expressed by Lord Alexander. Asked to speak on the occasion of Rockcliffe’s 25th anniversary in 1951, the Governor-General— who occupied Rideau Hall, just a genteel hop, skip and jump from Rockcliffe—was properly apologetic.

“My poor wife and I are the only guests here this evening,” he said. “Unfortunately we live on the wrong side of the tracks.”

Rockcliffe has no fire or police department. It buys fire protection from Ottawa on an assessment basis which last year amounted to $22,000. For this sum the Ottawa Fire Department answered eight calls. Answering a Rockcliffe call has its ups and downs. A few years ago, rushing to the home of Harry Southam, head of the Southam newspaper chain and pioneer Rockdiffite, firemen found themselves

without authority to proceed further because they were on a private road which did not even belong to Rockcliffe. This was speedily cleared, only to be superseded by a greater obstacle: the heavy equipment could not pass through the big stone gates at the driveway entrance. By the time this was overcome it was too late. The interior of the Sout ham home was completely gutted.

Police duties in Rockcliffe are carried out by a resident corporal and two constables of the Ontario Provincial Police, under an agreement with Queen’s Park. Cpl. George Clarke, who heads the little detachment, policed the lively Windsor area before being assigned to Rockcliffe in June 1945. Since his arrival, no major crime has disturbed the village.

“Quiet,” says Clarke of his bailiwick. “A real nice town.” Then, with a hint of nostalgia for the rowdy days of yore, “Every time 1 nab a guy with a flashlight prowling around one of the big houses it turns out to be some Ottawa fisherman picking dewworms.”

Rockcliffe’s quietude, so beguiling to the famous few as well as to the unimportant many, is not maintained by any strong-arm methods. There is no color or racial barrier to becoming a resident. Nor do certain families or cliques control who shall enter the precincts. What does separate ’Cliffedwellers qualitatively from the rest of Canada is a set of bylaws requiring lots to be at least 80 feet wide, construction to be at least 12 feet from the edge of the lot, and the finished building to have at least 1,600 square feet of clear living space.

The real clincher, which has made Rockcliffe what it is today, is Bylaw No. 46-18, which states that “no person shall erect or use any building for any purposes other than as a single detached family dwelling.” This is further defined as “a building occupied or intended to be occupied as a dwelling by one family alone and containing only one kitchen and may include a

private garage and other usual accessory buildings.”

This is the rock on which Rockcliffe stands or falls.

It has stood firm against quite a number of severe buffetings. Donald Gordon, CNR president, who lived in Rockcliffe during the war when he was boss of the Wartime Prices and Trade Board, informed Reeve Cruikshank one day that he was going to turn his own home into a duplex, and to hell with Rockcliffe’s bylaws. They wouldn’t stand up against wartime emergency needs anyway, said Gordon.

Cruikshank, who was at the time a member of Gordon’s own staff on the WPTB, did a little fast thinking. “You realize, of course, what you are doing,” he said. “This is the thin edge of a wedge which will open the door to a big influx of people. We’ll need all sorts of new services, water, sewage, maybe a new school. And not the least effect,” added the reeve, “your taxes will certainly jump.”

Gordon, a true Scot, staggered visibly under this unlooked-for blow. “Let’s forget all about it, shall we?” he said, genially.

Just recently the Turkish Embassy, which makes a practice of combining the ambassador’s home with embassy offices in other countries, tried to purchase a home for this dual purpose in Rockcliffe and was refused. What made it even tougher for Cruikshank in this case was that Sweden uses its embassy as both ambassador’s residence and chancellery. Canny diplomat Per Wijkman, Sweden’s representative in Canada during the war, managed to convert an unused room in his house into an office, and was doing business before the village council got wind of it. Faced with both a fait accompli and a wartime housing shortage, Cruikshank gave in.

The idea of making Rockcliffe a permanent oasis of graceful living seems to have sprung from Thomas Coltrin Keefer, son of the engineer who laid out the original Welland Canal. Keefer, also an engineer, got into Rockcliffe by marrying one of the daughters of Thomas McKay, a retired Rideau Canal contractor who acquired 1,100 acres of land near Ottawa. This tract, on a high bluff commanding a superb view of the Ottawa River and the Gatineau Hills beyond, was called McKay’s Bush.

The mansion on its western edge in which McKay lived in state was derisively titled McKay’s Castle, by local inhabitants. Today, it has reverted to the name McKay himself gave it—Rideau Hall, home of Canada’s governors-general.

McKay had a huge family, but a series of accidents wiped out most of them, including Mrs. Keefer. There was one daughter left, and T. C. Keefer took her as his second wife. When McKay himself died in 1855, engineer Keefer became master of all he surveyed. He changed the name to Rockcliffe. Following an engineering project in Mexico, he gave Spanish names to some of Rockcliffe’s roads: Buena

Vista, Acacia and Mariposa. These, together with those of governorsgeneral like Lansdowne, Minto, Willingdon and Tweedsmuir, and pioneer Rockcliffites Howick, McKinnon and Wood, make up the unusual street names which identify Rockcliffe addresses to Ottawans.

Keefer loved trees. He forced roads in his area to go around them and would not even allow poor Ottawa women to gather the rotting branches that fell from them. Part of his reverence has carried over into modern day. The village council put off the cutting down of two dying oaks near Ashbury College for years. Last May,

when orders for their destruction were finally given, Reeve Cruikshank and a large number of residents were at the site to mourn their passing.

By 1907 Rockcliffe had about two dozen well-scattered homes and a few enterprising Ottawans found they could make a good living picking flowers in Rockcliffe gardens for sale in the city. To protect themselves from these depredations the residents formed themselves into a police village. This unstable condition lasted till 1926 when the residents decided to apply for incorporation as a village. To meet legal requirements—1,500 people—they took the census when both Ashbury and Elmwood schools were in session. These 300-odd youngsters, together with all the servants who could be rounded up, swelled the population to the required level, and Rockcliffe was duly incorporated .

In the quarter-century since her incorporation the village has suffered schizophrenia involving residents who live in what they feel is (a) the real Rockcliffe (b) the Rockcliffe that should be. The first group includes people who profess to believe that their village is just an ordinary community with possibly a soupçon more than its share of extraordinary humans. These people—like Dr. George Hooper, head of Ottawa’s Civic Hospital, Jack Charleson, helicopter expert, and Margaret Carson, possibly Canada’s top aviatrix—see nothing unusual in the possibility of a general, an admiral, a cabinet minister and two insurance salesmen making up the village Homeand-School committee. “Even generals sometimes have children, don’t they?” asks Jack Charleson.

It is interesting to them, but no more than that, that the trees in the village square were planted by ambassadors whose names are household words and that their next-door neighbor for years was Juliana, now Queen of the Netherlands. It doesn’t seem at all strange to them that Rockcliffe, though lenient toward most forms of animal life and even permitting its residents to keep chickens if they desire, should have a specific injunction against anyone keeping a bear. If the daughter-in-law of the late Dr. O. D. Skelton, who was Under-Secretary of State, hadn’t taken one in as a pet, and if it hadn’t accidentally dropped from a tree onto the shoulders of a passing Rockcliffe broker, the subject might never have come up. But once it had b ;en brought before the village council no other course was possible. The bear had to go (to Algonquin Park).

Most significant to these people who see Rockcliffe as a haven of normalcy is the fact that over ninety percent of the residents own their own homes. This, together with the complete lack of distraction inherent in night clubs, bars, theatres and stores, makes for a sort of super-domesticity.

The other, smaller segment of Rockcliffe sees the village as a sort of “sceptred isle” ranged like the original, “against the envy of less happier lands.” This segment provides most of the joke material for Ottawa punsters, often reflected in tongue-in-cheek editorials in the Citizen and Journal.

This is the segment that sheds a bitter tear at the distressing lack of foresight on the part of the venerated village planners who allowed main Rockcliffe streets like Acacia and Springfield to project with names unchanged into the outer limbo of Ottawa. To them, a Rockcliffe address should glow' like neon—-sterling-silver neon.

Conversely, the possibility of living anywhere else is unthinkable. A Toronto girl who married a Rockcliffex-aised lad hit upon this attitude soon

after her arrival in the capital. Calling some of her husband’s boyhood chums to invite them to a housewarming she fairly glowed as she told them of the lovely place she had located on Acacia Avenue—just south of the car tracks.

“I felt like someone who accidentally drops a bomb,” the Toronto girl recalls today. “Later I overheard one of the women say, ‘It’s all right for Evie, but how pei'fectly dreadful for poor Gordie!’ ”

The embassies have made a deeper impression on Rockcliffe life than most of the villagers x-ealize. First to ogle Rockcliffe’s charms was Uncle Sam who, looking past the sophisticated subui-bs of Sandy Hill and the Glebe, fixed on a little knoll on Pine Hill. It was 1928, American popularity in Canada was at a peak and the Govei'nment thought it would be “a nice gestui’e” on the city’s part to provide the newcomer with the site he most desired.

Not so Rockcliffe.

Lady Kingsmill, wife of the first Canadian Chief of Naval Staff, and staunch Rockcliffite, rose in arms against what she termed “a monstrous proposal.” Did the government not realize that Pine Hill was higher than any property in Rockcliffe? Could they not see that this would place the Stars and Stripes above the Union Jack?

Rockcliffe residents, swarming to Lady Kingsmill’s banner, stumped Ottawa’s stx-eets, tied up telephones with an all-out campaign and wound up with a mass protest meeting at City Hall which resoundingly vetoed the proposal.

Even Indoor Plumbing!

Lady Willingdon, wife of the Governor-General, was so overcome with emotion at the victory of the British flag over the American flag that she threw her arms around Lady Kingsmill.

“Lady Kingsmill,” she cried, “our savior!”

This jingoistic attitude has abated somewhat today. This spring, for example, Spanish Ambassador Mariano de Yturralde y Orbegoso, who rents quarters in Rockcliffe, was indiscreet enough to echo General Franco’s warning to Queen Elizabeth not to visit Gibraltar. Ottawa papers seethed with indignation but Rockcliffe remained calm. They may have thought some hard thoughts but no word of censure carried over to their guest.

The United States Embassy, for its part, has overcome its early handicap to become one of Rockcliffe’s perennial favorites. The house it finally located in was part of the old Soper estate, as high a point of land as any in Rockcliffe —but not higher. No group grieved more than Rockcliffe villagers when Ambassador Lawrence Steinhardt met his death in an air crash just outside Ottawa in March 1950. The only perceptible blemish on mutual relations came when Doris Duke Cromwell, wife of the U. S. minister in 1940, and one of the world’s richest women, appeared to be making a habit of passing up her own parties. She also caused a stir when she confessed to a New York newspaper that she had been pleasantly surprised at the state of civilization in Canada. In Rockcliffe, she said, they even had indoor bathrooms.

For a time the embassy of Argentina was located in Rockcliffe. In 1948, however, a violent altercation rocked the village. The residents, declared the wife of an RCAF air marshal, were torturing their dogs to death! The Ottawa Humane Society, called in to inspect embassy premises, declared the dogs had died of distemper. At this, a howl went up from Ambassador Juan

Carlos Rodriguez. The inspectors, though exonerating him of blame, had violated diplomatic immunity, he charged. Under the 240-year-old law of Queen Anne respecting “publiek repose,” they must be tried, lashed and imprisoned at the very least.

While official Ottawa tried to keep cool, an element of farce crept in. At a Rockcliffe cocktail party Dominican Consul-General Juan Ricart passed a small joke about dogs. Angered, the Ambassador for Argentina made a sharp retort and before delighted newsmen could unlimber their notebooks Consul Ricart was challenging Ambassador Rodriguez to a duel to the death to be held in the Argentine Embassy grounds in Rockcliffe. Though in Rockcliffe technically, declaimed Ricart, this was Argentine soil and therefore not subject to Canadian laws.

Reeve Cruikshank and the Department of External Affairs held their collective breath as Ambassador Rodriguez pondered. The RCMP and the Ottawa police, as well as parliament, fidgeted uneasily. Then Ambassador Rodriguez made his announcement. He would not fight. Though his honor and the honor of his country had been trampled on, he would not fight, because (a) he respected greatly the laws of Canada and (b) an ambassador cannot engage in duels with “mere” consul-generals.

Everyone was relieved but no one jubilant when the Argentine removed its embassy to the rival Ottawa suburb of Sandy Hill.

Tulips from a Queen

Juliana, of course, took Rockcliffe by storm. For most of her stay she lived in the house afterwards purchased for George Drew by the Conservative Party. She was a familiar figure in wartime Ottawa, whether shopping in the Bytown market in kerchief and sandals or sun-bathing on her Rockcliffe lawn. Her children attended the Rockcliffe Public School where they received no special favors. In April 1952, Juliana laid the cornerstone of the school’s recreation hall—Juliana Hall—and each year sends a large number of special tulips to grace Rockcliffe’s arbors.

The French Embassy, one of Ottawa’s most prominent party-givers, is only a few hundred yards outside the boundaries of the village. Rockcliffe owes a considerable debt to the French, for it was they who forced the city of Ottawa to charge for water on an actual-use basis, instead of on the size of the property, a ruling which benefited many a Rockcliffe householder.

Mrs. Madge Macbeth, who from the detached outlook of a Sandy Hill home has observed and written about Rockcliffe doings for years, claims that the embassies have almost wrecked social life in Rockcliffe.

“Years ago, when liquor, food and hired help were reasonably priced,” she maintains, “almost every home in Rockcliffe could throw a few big parties each year. Now only the embassies, with their tax-free liquor and big entertainment allowances, can afford to do so. The embassies are so generous with their entertainment that it puts their Rockcliffe neighbors in the embarrassing position of not being able to reciprocate in kind.”

Mrs. Claire Keefer, widow of T. C. Keefer’s grandson and a resident of Rockcliffe since before it was even a police village, feels that the present level of social activity merely reflects the influx of large numbers of moderatesalaried families. “They’re more interested in their children than in other people,” believes Mrs. Keefer.

Certainly, children do play a large

part in the life of modern Rockcliffe. The social season, once predicated on the whims of nearby Government House, now follows the opening and closing of school terms. Opening in September, the social whirl builds to a frenzy at Christmas, then lulls while the kids are home on holiday. Picking up again about the first week in February, the season continues with hardly a letup till the end of June, school closing, when it ends abruptly.

A feature of most social gatherings are Rockcliffe’s “perambulating family retainers.” These servants, possibly four or five butlers and as many maids, preside at almost all Rockcliffe functions and know to the last ounce of Scotch and dash of soda just how much each guest can or should have.

“If you can’t get Rump or Vada, Beatrice, Whitehead or Walker,” says Mrs. H. Willis-O’Connor, wife of the former aide to several governorsgeneral, “you may as well call off your party. They are the essential ingredient.”

In the matter of housing, Rockcliffe inclines to the conservative. Most homes are built on standard lines and even the ones now being constructed show no great flights of fancy.

Most recently opened section of Rockcliffe is the part below the bluffs on the east side of McKay Lake. This tiny pond, believed by many to be bottomless (“Then how does the water stay in?” countless Rockcliffe kids have asked), surprised new residents by tossing up a large number of fish, mostly dead. Biologists declared they had died of suffocation caused by ice staying too long on the lake. The Israeli Ambassador exhibited a 42pound carp, while giant catfish, pike and pickerel were strewn about the shores. The surprising yield has put many a resident off his ideas of fishing trips to distant parts.

Rockcliffe’s possible crisis in its affairs with Ottawa is more than equalled by its internal crisis. Of the original Keefer tract, fewer than a hundred lots are left and these will be taken by the end of 1954. After that there will be no extension, for Ottawa and Eastview hem it in on all sides.

What will happen then is difficult to predict. Perhaps people who would normally gravitate to Rockcliffe will set up a new community which will gradually supersede Rockcliffe in exclusiveness. Or perhaps Rockcliffe itself will grow even more exclusive.

Just how exclusive is Rockcliffe?

Testimony on this subject is confused —except in a large house on Rockcliffe’s Crescent Road where Mr. and Mrs. C. D. Howe dwell. Last March, after a slow procession of misleading clues, it suddenly became obvious to radio listeners that some aspect of Howe’s life was the answer to a national quiz program, Pot o’ Gold. Immediately it became imperative that all contestants for the prize—over $3,000, and going higher each day—should find out Howe’s personal habits, possessions and idiosyncrasies, for any one of them might be the $3,000 answer.

The Howe home found itself under siege. Phones jangled day and night, finally had to be disconnected. Callers hammered at front and back doors and once the frantic Mrs. Howe caught a fake service installation man in the basement, “just looking for clues.” All callers wanted to know: How old is Mr. Howe? Does he like cats or dogs? What does he eat for breakfast? Does he wear a nightshirt or pyjamas? When the winning answer, “the career of C. D. Howe,” was finally announced the visitors abruptly stopped visiting.

How exclusive is Rockcliffe?

“Definitely,” says Mrs. Howe, “not exclusive enough!” if